The three marks above are authentic R.S. marks. These are only three of the many variations on this design used by the RS company over the years, but they are the three that are most commonly faked. Compare the numerous fakes to these three, and you will learn to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Right on the Mark

by Jim Kempster

Would you buy a Rolex watch for $89 from a man on the street or a stranger on an internet auction site when you know that a Rolex can easily sell for $10,000? Hopefully not. We all should know that any item that is in demand will spawn cheap imitations that only superficially resemble the real thing. Maybe we hope that the seller doesn't know what he has, that we have found the deal of a lifetime, but more often than not the dealer knows exactly what he is selling- a piece of junk designed to deceive the trusting buyer or inexperienced collector!

Since the price of porcelain manufactured by Reinhold Schlegelmilch began to rise in the early 1970s, some dealers tried to increase the "supply" available by applying fake marks to unmarked porcelain that resembled genuine R.S. pieces. Eventually, manufacturers in Asia began to copy molds and décor (not very successfully), and offer reproductions that were ready-made for the unscrupulous dealer in so-called antiques.

These modern fakes (I find it hard to call them reproductions because they do not have any of the fine qualities of the genuine article) are not to be confused with look-alike pieces that you will find from time to time. These pieces were produced by companies in competition with the R.S. company for a share of the market.It seems that once one company introduced a new line that sold well, someone else would try to capitalize on its success by bringing out their own version. The Erdmann Schlegelmilch company marked much of their early output "Depon", an abbreviation of the German word "Deponiert" (meaning registered or protected by law) to discourage copying by their competitors. I wonder if it worked? Here are two examples of look-alike pieces, not modern fakes, just the result of business competition. They are properly marked by their manufacturers, but are almost twins to well known R.S. molds.

Copyright 2009-2012 Jim Kempster

Counterfeit Gallery

The marks shown below are some of the counterfeits applied to modern ceramic ware to boost its saleability. Look through the listings in the R.S. Prussia section of eBay at any time and you are almost certain to find at least one or two of them. We can only hope that they are never accepted as a legitimate part of the Reinhold Schlegelmilch story. There is no flattery in this imitation.

Roll over image to view.

This plate is R.S. Prussia mold A 9 from around 1890. This is one of the earliest scenic transfers found on R.S.

This plate, in a very similar mold, is from the Carl Tielsch porcelain company in Altwasser Germany. The mark (shown beneath) on the back is believed to have been in use from 1875 until around 1900. The decoration combines a castle scene and a hand painted outline transfer floral design.

This plate bears a strong resemblance to the R.S. "candy cane" mold OM 10. It was manufactured by the Limoges company of A. Klingenberg and C. Dwenger that operated under this name from about 1900 to 1910. Their mark is shown beneath.

The Schlegelmilch version of this mold appears in the Butler Brothers 1896 catalog. The dots inside the candy canes are very distinct in the RS version. Illustration from Butler Brothers 1896 catalog.